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Title: Mobilizing Resources in a Community of Practice: How Academic Change Agents Work Toward Equity in their Change Projects
Transforming academic organizations to be more equitable and inclusive requires a range of change agents working together and engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives. Central to this DEI work is learning how to create change. Yet, change agents do not always know at the outset what resources are necessary to enact change; they often acquire the necessary resources and skills over time. This research paper investigates how change agents participating in a community of practice (CoP) across academic institutions learn about and mobilize resources to transform engineering education. This analysis of resource mobilization mechanisms comes from research with the National Science Foundation (NSF) Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant recipient teams. To date, 26 teams have been funded through the RED mechanism to create revolutionary organizational and cultural changes within their departments with the goal of improving equity, inclusion, and educational outcomes. Projects vary in how they define and the degree to which they focus on equity. We find that resource mobilization practices in the CoP center and strengthen DEI values in two main ways. Firstly, participants learn about and gain access to resources that are explicitly DEIrelated: they mobilize resources to advance equity at the institutional level as an outcome of the projects and collaborate on additional projects to embed DEI into the process of change-making itself, starting from the initial stages of writing a proposal. Secondly, the way participants engage with each other, and approach change goals puts equity and inclusion into practice: participants identify and tackle structural barriers to change through DEI-aligned behaviors, from addressing how institutional circumstances create resistance to DEI, to developing a shared vision for systemic change that is inclusive and collaborative.  more » « less
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Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Subject(s) / Keyword(s):
Resource Mobilization Communities of Practice Social movement schools pedagogy academic change collective action frames STEM higher education agency participatory action research
Medium: X Size: 798KB Other: .pdf
Baltimore, MD
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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